Monthly Archives: March 2019

The Catcher In The Rye

I was confronted with the fact that I had never read this absolute classic a few weeks ago, when my nephew’s grandfather (not my own father, mind) gave it to him as a birthday present. I was determined to get my own copy and read it.

I have done so and read it.

To be fair I wasn’t impressed.
The book starts the same way it ends. It’s basically a very long rant about a teenage boy who gets kicked out of his fourth school and doesn’t want to face the confrontation with his parents, so he doesn’t. The book is one long rant about what he does instead to avoid this.
In Dutch this book used to have the title ‘Puber’, and that about catches what it really s about. You’re stuck in the mind of a teen, including all the phrases and words that you can remember so well keep being repeated. Every other sentence, if not the same sentence. It’s very much the way people talk, without editing. I was bored out of my mind because of that after three pages. It’s 230 pages, so that wasn’t very nice.

People have told me: ‘oh that book is so sad! But beautiful’, I don’t see the beauty in it I’m afraid. I did think it was funny how the language of the youth apparently just never changes. It’s set near the 1950s and you can still read it today and think you’re stuck in the mind of a teenager now. In that sense it’s pretty clever. Other than that: my god, STOP after a few pages, you’ll get the gist!

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Posted by on March 29, 2019 in Books, Opinion, Uncategorized


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Effie Gray

With Dakota Fanning, Greg Wise, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters and many others.

Despite the starloaded cast, this film, after its initial painful beginning of Effie Gray that gets turned down in her wedding night, is as dead as the sex life between the Ruskins. It took me ages to realize they didn’t try again. It bares the same subtleness that is used in Jane Austen novels, and so, when Effie meets Lady Eastlake again, this was the first time I had any idea of how much time apparently had passed.
It seems to me that the film tries to resemble Lady Chatterly’s Lover a bit, or Marie Antoinette, but given that Effie Gray is still a virgin after years, this simply isn’t true.
Well, not according to modern standards, where women are their own person. A point excellently made by Lady Eastlake, perfectly portrayed by the devine Emma Thompson.
Julie Walters portrays her mother-in-law-from-Hell part so subtle and yet so exquisitely aswell. You wouldn’t want to get on her wrong side indeed.

Other than that, this film doesn’t entertain much. There’s the very short scenes, in which the moments are caught that are supposedly showing how Effie and her Mr Ruskin do share their bit of love, but it is never clear why on earth he married her or the other way around. It seems that they ‘just did’.

It is not the kind of costumed drama I was hoping for, but if you like those, you will no doubt like this one, as it shows quite a lot of it. Unfortunately, the characters don’t get to show very much of themselves as I think the story didn’t allow them to do so.

Wouldn’t necessarily recommend, unless you’re a Thompson fan, because though very small, she has a part in it.

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Posted by on March 24, 2019 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized


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